“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt. This quote can relate to the main character, Junior, in Sherman Alexie’s The Absolute True Story of A Part-Time Indian. In Alexie’s book he shows how stereotypes and world’s view of Indians made Junior and Rowdy both not confident that their dreams can come true, but by following Mr.
P’s advice, Junior had found that it is possible to be a basketball player as long as you pursue your dreams, and that overall Junior’s dreams were affected by his background, race and people who surround him. In Alexies book, he explained how Junior’s family all had dreams. Mary-Runs-Away followed her dreams and to do that she had to leave the reservation and Junior’s parents would have been a college teacher or a jazz musician if they would have only left the reservation. Mr. P says to Junior “You’re going to find more and more hope the farther and farther you walk away from this sad, sad, sad reservation” (Alexie 43).
Being Indian gave the family negative stereotypes which overall influenced their beliefs that they could pursue their dreams. Their Indian background made Junior feel like he can’t be a cartoonist or basketball player. Junior’s best friend, Rowdy, was the toughest kid on the reservation but he didn’t believe in himself either. “Rowdy didn’t believe in himself. Not much.
So I tried to pump him up” (Alexie 220). The stereotypes and world’s view of Indians made Junior and Rowdy both not confident that their dreams can come true, but changing schools changed his self-fulfilling prophecy. When Junior first started going to Reardan Roger and his friends would pick on him and say racist jokes, but once Junior stood up for himself and punched him, Roger had respect for him. “You know that Indians are living proof that ni**ers f**k buffalo? ..
. I wasn’t just defending myself. I was defending Indians, black people, and buffalo” (Alexie 65). When he went to Reardan his self-fulfilling prophecy changed. Junior says to himself “I’d never guessed I’d be a good basketball player…But somehow or another, as the season went on, I became a freshman starter on a varsity basketball team. And, sure, all of my teammates were bigger and faster, but none of them could shoot like me” (Alexie 179).
By following Mr. P’s advice, Junior had found that it is possible to be a basketball player as long as you pursue your dreams. Junior shows that self-fulfilling prophecies can be defined by your background, but he also shows that fulfilling dreams is possible no matter where someone may come from. Junior believes he can’t follow his dreams because he is an Indian. “But we reservation Indians don’t get to realize our dreams.
We don’t get those chances. Or choices. We’re just poor. That’s all we are” (Alexie 13). Junior believes that he won’t be able to follow his dreams because he is Indian.
He is letting his race ruin his self-fulfilling prophecy. But after Junior’s leaves the reservation, his self-fulfilling prophecy changes. He begins to believe in his dreams and himself. After he started going to Reardan and when people weren’t making fun of him for his race and background, he gained confidence in his basketball. “Overnight, I became a good player. I suppose it had something to do with confidence.
I mean, I’d always been the lowest Indian on the reservation totem pole – I wasn’t expected to be good so I wasn’t. But in Reardan, my coach and the other players wanted me to be good. They expected me to be good. And so I became good” (Alexie 180). Overall Junior’s dreams were affected by his background, race and people who surround him, and making the change of people who surround him showed that he can have a more positive self-fulfilling prophecy if you make the first change.
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney. This quote can relate to Junior and Rowdy as they climbed the tree. The tree is a symbol of Junior and Rowdy’s struggles of being Indian and the stereotypes they have to live with every day.
As they climbed the tree together Junior thought to himself “We were more the than one hundred feet in the air. From our vantage point, we could see for miles. We could see from one end of the reservation to the other. We could see our entire world. And our entire world, at that moment, was green and golden and perfect” (Alexie 226). In the end Rowdy and Junior knew that they were better than all of the stereotypes the world gave to them.
Before the stereotypes and world’s view of Indians made Junior and Rowdy both not confident that their dreams could come true, but by following Mr. P’s advice, Junior had found that it is possible to be a basketball player as long as you pursue your dreams, and that overall Junior’s dreams were affected by his background, race and people who surround him.